The president of the World Bank Jim Yong Kim has been contacted by various African leaders urging him to relax the international bank’s rules on financing fossil fuel power plants in developing countries.
African leaders are annoyed at the ignorance of western countries whom have dictated to developing countries around the world, but especially in Africa, that they are not entitled to any fossil fuel baseload power.
These leaders feel that they are entitled to the same rights and privileges that western countries are entitled to, and they make the argument that they are not responsible for most of the carbon already polluted in the air, so why should they be held back it securing electricity for the 600 million Africans without any form of power.
Collectively, African leaders sent a message to Mr Kim ahead of his recent visit to Indonesia. They said, “You’re outraged by climate change, we have almost no responsibility for putting the carbon in the air and yet you’re telling us we can’t develop and have baseload energy because we can’t use a single drop of fossil fuel for our own energy needs.”
In response, Mr Kim said, “We feel that you have to listen to the social justice arguments from people from poor countries who have not put any of the carbon in the air and want to have baseload.”
Current technology today can significantly reduce the amount of carbon emitted into the air, so the argument the World Bank is making is a non-starter in the eyes of many organisations and institutions around the world.
It will be interesting to see if the World Bank will change their patriarchal edict preventing finance for fossil fuel power generation projects, giving African leaders the ability and freedom to secure uninterruptible 24/7 electricity for all of their citizens.